Even Bob Novak Knows the Republicans Have no Principles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 06:29 PM

I saw the documentary "Boogie Man" the other night. It chronicles the rise and fall into brain cancer of the one and only Lee Atwater, the GOP politico who taught Karl Rove and who left the election of Saint Reagan and the Willie Horton ad as his major accomplishments. But the most interesting thing to me was the flat out statement from Robert (Prince of Darkness) Novak that the Democrats are the only party with principles.

A little piece of honesty from Bob Novak, a speck of truth seeping out between the contorted lips, and wouldn't you know it, he has to say it in a documentary film that will probably be seen by fewer than 1% of all Americans.

I can't give you the exact quote, because I didn't have a chance to write it down until several hours after I saw him say it, but that's what he said. My best paraphrasing: "The Democrats are the only party with principles. I disagree with most of them, but they do have principles."

Pretty damning comment on the Republicans, wouldn't you say? And if Novak knows it, can you really believe that the Republican water boys and girls don't know it?

This whole media circus where everyone pretends to be discussing the relative merits of the policies offered by the two major parties amounts to a concerted refusal to acknowledge that one of the two parties doesn't have "policies" per se, it only has a variety of self-serving articulations of why they should be allowed to do whatever they want to do.

The "principles" by which Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II governed could be written on the inside of a pack of matches in pitch black night. I omit Ford only because of my own ignorance of the man, but I wouldn't be particularly surprised if he belonged on the list. Clinton's list of principles wouldn't be awfully long, but there would be a list. Carter's list would be a lot longer.

Nixon elected twice, Reagan elected twice, Bush I elected once and Bush II elected twice (if you use the word "elected" loosely). The cumulative principles of governance: get elected, stay elected, cut taxes, pray in public, cut taxes, deregulate essential businesses, cut taxes, invade small countries, cut taxes, pray, cut taxes, pray for more tax cuts, and stay in power.

Yes, it's a real mystery how this country got into the mess we now have. Everybody knows that hostility to government, addiction to power, and a complete lack of ethics is a successful formula for governing.

I mean, it must be a real mystery, because you don't hear anyone in the major media talking about it.